September 11, 2018

First speed work in... two years?

It seems that going to bed early has made quite the difference in getting me up and running (literally) in the mornings. Today, I dressed in my running clothes again when I woke up, and decided I'd run after dropping the kids off at school. I think that running before I return home in the mornings will be helpful. When I was regularly running 4-6 days a week, it was always in the mornings.

Last night, I really didn't want to go to bed--it was hard making myself go to bed by 10:45. My target is 10:30, but I was really caught up in a book, so I pushed it a bit. I'd started reading "The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett. This is one of my favorite books I've ever read--which is surprising, because it's about 1,000 pages long and I'm a super slow reader. 

While I loved The Pillars of the Earth, I found the sequel, "World Without End", to be even better. It was over 1,000 pages and I finished it in about two weeks--which is insanely fast for me. I couldn't put it down! Anyway, it's been a while since I read them, so I decided to start them again. 

This morning, I took the kids to school and then stopped at the State Park again. I decided to do run/walk intervals today. I hesitate to call it "speed work" because I'm certainly not speedy right now, but I think adding intervals will help with my calorie burn.

When I was training for the 10K, I think it was the combination of super slow, easy running + intervals + tempo (an 80/20 ratio of easy to hard work) that helped me to drop weight. After I was at my goal of 133, I continued to drop weight fairly easily without much effort--and I'm pretty certain it was the change in my training method (along with calorie counting). 

I set my Garmin for 8 intervals of 2 minutes hard, with 1 minute walking in between. I started with a 5-minute warm-up jog at an easy pace. When I started the first interval, it felt so odd (running with a hard effort). I definitely felt a little rusty, and I wasn't sure if I could even continue. I didn't pay any attention to my pace--I just kept going and hoping that I could actually finish the interval.

It was the longest two minutes EVER.

When the Garmin beeped for me to start walking, I was so relieved. Only to find out that it was the shortest minute EVER.

Beep. Start running hard again. Wondering how two minutes could possibly feel so long. Beep. Walk.

After the fourth interval, I knew there was no way I could do eight. I don't know what I was thinking! I would never have a beginner start with eight, and that's pretty much what I am--a beginner (again). So, I chose to shoot for six. 

Interestingly, after my sixth interval and the one minute walk, I was exactly back at my car. I hadn't planned that, and I had taken a route I'd never done before (hoping it would be 2.5 miles or so). It ended up being two miles, but that was perfect for the six intervals (plus warm-up). 

I was pretty surprised when I checked out my pace from the run. I assumed I'd been running "hard" at a 9:30-10:00/mi pace (considering my "easy" pace run was about 12:00 yesterday). But I managed to run four of the intervals at a sub-9:00 pace, so I was pretty happy with that. Three of them were the exact same pace (8:48)--I couldn't time it like that again if I tried. 

Running at a hard pace like that made me feel really good afterward. I always used to love that feeling after a hard run--like I had really pushed myself, making my muscles tired and a little achy the rest of the day. 

Jerry's birthday is on Friday, but he is going to be working, so we're going to celebrate it tomorrow. I have something fun planned, but Jerry's been reading my blog lately, so I will have to write about it afterward ;) 


  1. I'm thrilled you're (maybe!) finding your mojo again. Happy fall!

  2. Hi
    I read your blog regularly and so very much enjoy it.
    I, too, am a slow reader and proud of it. It is what it is, but I love reading so much that I don't care. I was glad that you shared that.

  3. "Only to find out that it was the shortest minute EVER." That made me laugh out loud! It's SO TRUE!

    "I always used to love that feeling after a hard run--like I had really pushed myself, making my muscles tired and a little achy the rest of the day." This, exactly. I flipping HATE speedwork or tempo work when I'm in it, but I feel invincible when I'm done!

    GREAT job on those intervals!!

  4. Good job on the speed work... Yay! Pillars of the Earth and World Without End are so good... definitely in my top 10 books EVER! I have them on audio and listen while walking/running/gardening/ etc. You might have inspired me to listen again. It has been about 10 years so probably time. Keep up the good work.

  5. You're getting very close to inspiring me to start running again!

    Like you, I dread it but then feel SO good after. I haven't been able to run for seven years thanks to single parenting but now they are both in school and I am home... maybe! Cobblestone streets are dampening my enthusiasm a bit. I work out at home but nothing beats running endorphins!

  6. Did you know there is a new book in the series?!?

  7. I have started doing a run/walk (which basically is like speed work for me) for my shorter road "races." It's interesting how I do a 2:45/:45 interval and have a 10 min average pace, where if I was running without walking at all, I would really be struggling to get to 10.

    Great job!


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